Kourtni's Blog

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PR Professional Interview Recap June 11, 2010

Filed under: PR Connections — kourtnilee @ 6:59 am

For my PR professional interview, I interviewed Barbara Ryan. She is CEO of Stormers Marketing and Publisher of St. Marys Magazine. She was not the first person that I was actually going to interview but the person I had in mind lead me to Ryan because she was much more experienced and she thought she would be able to give me a better interview. I was lucky to get an interview with Ryan because she was on a deadline for St. Marys Magazine in the time period I had.

Ryan said that her typical week consisted of creative sessions with writers and artists, strategic planning with clients, and creating presentations. The project that she is most proud of is when St. Marys Magazine, which she is publisher of, won the coveted Gold Ink Award in the same category as Oprah’s “O” Magazine and Forbes Magazine. To keep current in PR, she subscribes to online newsletters and magazines. She also attends webinars when she can.

When asked the question what she wished she knew before starting her career in PR, Ryan said she wish she knew that if she didn’t know how to do something, she could always find someone who could have shown her how to do it. Also that with knowing this she would have never turned down opportunities that came her way just because she didn’t know how to do it.

According to Ryan, writing is critical in her career. This is because she has always considered PR to be about “engineering consent,” in her words persuading other to think in a certain was to achieve your client’s goals. She compared to writing as a theater of sorts. In her words, “if you can write compelling words, the audience is sold.”

She felt that her education had immensely prepared her for working in PR. She said that her marketing and PR classes were very helpful. But she also said that her theater classes she took were a great asset for her because it has helped with the success of her effective presentations. She was very surprised though by the people that does not understand PR and mix it up with advertising. Ryan said that technology is vital in her daily work. According to Ryan, she uses it every moment of the day. That is also helps her expand her work capabilities, to where she can be in more than one place at one time. Also that she can always be in communication with clients.

After interviewing Ryan, I felt that I definitely still wanted to pursue PR as my major and one day work in that profession. Also with the tips she gave me I feel like I have a head start on other people that want to be in this field. Her tips were: 1. When asked to do something your answer should almost always be “consider it done.” 2. People do business with people they like. Find a friendship with your clients and try to know personal stuff like children’s names and remember it. She also told me what stands out to her when hiring is presentation ability, attitude, and confidence in themselves. With this interview I feel like I am a step ahead of the rest and will hopefully one day have a job as great as Barbara Ryan.

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2 Responses to “PR Professional Interview Recap”

  1. Brianna W Says:

    I felt the same way after I interviewed Joanna Stotter. Talking to these professionals really does get me hyped about our major, and your interview is just more proof that this is what I want to be doing. I liked Ryan’s advice about finding someone who can help you do something if you don’t know how instead of passing up an opportunity. It is also helpful to know what she says about remembering details about clients. The professional I interviewed Stotter said that she looks for people who have confidence in an interview agreeing with Ryan.


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